Monday, April 2, 2012

B is for Breaking Me Down

I am not a stupid person.

I am not a particularly smart person, but I can hold my own at the park, or talking to preschoolers. I am a pretty good at thinking on my feet, as long as I'm paying attention to what the person is saying, and not zoning out thinking about coffee or germs or testicles or something.

So I find it slightly shocking, and terribly disconcerting, that I am unable to hold a satisfactory conversation with my five year old. Every conversation is like a Lincoln-Douglas debate, and I'm getting my ass whipped by a four foot Honest Abe wearing a pink bow instead of a stovepipe hat.

If she's in the mood, she will spend the entire day breaking me down, so by bedtime I am so exhausted I'll give her whatever she wants. Ice cream in bed? Sure, sure, whatever. Stay up and watch a movie? Knock yourself out. Go to Chuck E Cheese tomorrow? God, whatever it takes. Just don't ask me another question.

Because that's how it starts. With the questions.

"When will Grandma Erin be here?"
"Tomorrow, after bedtime."
"And Daddy will pick her up at the airport in Arizona? Can I go with him?"
"No, he's picking her up at the airport here, and he's going from work, so you can't go."
"Oh, right right right. And that's tomorrow? How many more sleeps?"
(This is where she starts jerking me around, because she knows how many more sleeps. This is the point where she starts breaking me down.)
"One more sleep, Julia. Tomorrow."
"What time tomorrow?"
"Bedtime, honey. Stop asking me questions."

And she will, briefly. Instead she'll talk about the soundtrack in her brain and how it plays "Do it, Julia!" sometimes and "Don't do it, Julia!" other times. Then she'll segue into a thirty minute conversation about past, present and future and after arguing the time space continuum with me (NO! THAT IS NOT THE PAST, THE PAST IS WHEN WE WERE BABIES!) she will laugh and say "I'm must kidding Mommy. I know all about that. I'm smaaaaart."

And a little evil.

Because when she sees that she has me adequately confused and tired, she'll circle back around to the original line of questioning.

"When is Grandma Erin going to be here?"

She's the master, I concede.


  1. I am almost always, ALWAYS, thinking about either coffee or testicles.
    Your Julia sounds a lot like my jBird. We call her "The Attorney". It's a kind of magic they work, though. I sometimes wonder if I can take lessons and learn to disarm and persuade people so.
    Best to stay on their good sides and hope they don't figure out they are WAY smarter than us for a while.

  2. OMG. I feel for you. This behavior is typically reserved for the youngest. What will sweet Henry give you?? Or maybe you're okay since he's a boy and Julia is "theoretically" the youngest of your girls. She sounds like Cassie... God help you.

  3. Oh, I have one of these, too. And she'll be eighteen in a few months and we still have conversations that make me go, "Huh? What the HELL just happened?!" Lucky for you, you're still in the training period, there may still be hope for you yet.